Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
I feel uneasy admitting this
As you are aware I celebrated the FAB Network’s first year of existence earlier this month. I got so much AMAZING feedback from the fantastic women who attended, telling me how great it was, how much they’d enjoyed it etc etc...it was all good stuff. The event had totally rocked, and I was absolutely over the moon with that.
But there were a couple of things that made me feel a bit uncomfortable...and I feel a tad uneasy even admitting this. But I’ve been giving it some thought…PLUS twice in the space of 30 seconds, immediately prior to sitting down to write I saw the same words ‘Get comfortable with being uncomfortable’ TWICE! Once on Facebook and once on Linkedin! I’d only picked my phone up to switch it on to Do Not Disturb! I’m taking it as a sign from the universe.
Accepting a compliment can be hard
You know I bang on about how important it is to accept compliments graciously and not brush them off? They are given to you and are therefore a gift. By not accepting the compliment you are rejecting the givers opinion. They didn’t *need* to say anything at all. Even though, I’ve thought like this for over 20 years, (since my Slimming World boss said it at a meeting) I realised a couple of weeks ago that I still have some work to do on this myself.
I’m OK when I get compliments about my dress, my hair, my make up etc – that’s all good 👍🏼 That’s acceptable, I know that to be true. I work to achieve that.
I’m OK when I get compliments about the meetings and essentially, my work, my business. 👍🏼That’s also acceptable as I know that to be true too. I work to achieve that too.
The work I need to do more of is on my self-belief and how I see myself. After the FAB event I read some things that several people had written about me that overwhelmed me. They were really nice things, very complimentary and lovely to hear. BUT I don’t think I let them land properly. I *don’t know* these things to be true.
I was not just intimidated I was jealous
One of the things I read were some beautiful, heartfelt words, written by Carrie Eddins about me. She was super brave in showing her feelings and vulnerability whilst describing me in a way that I don’t see to be true.
Here’s what she wrote
“SHE WAS SO MUCH MORE COURAGEOUS THAN ME …
When I first met her I admit I felt a bit intimidated… and wondered how I was going to nurture a relationship with her….She was that kind of woman who really held her value, and spoke incredibly powerfully; and shared her stories which felt like mini Oscar-winning performances quite frankly yup they were that good!
She was one of those women who you knew was here to lead and who commanded the attention of the room; without even saying a word; by not just what she wore as she was styled so well she could have stepped off the red carpet ( yup that good!)and her makeup ( A-list level detail was immaculate too!)which on point and aligned ; but by her energy alone that lit up the room !
And secretly I was not just intimidated I was jealous…
I was jealous as I felt like I had lost my courage over the years feeling at the time I had made a number of wrong turns and shameful mistakes ( working with the wrong mentors, under charging, not exercising like I used to do put on a few stone of weight those kinds of things) that my voice and my presence…felt like they were duller than ever and more like a whimper more than anything ..which made me feel like I didn’t want to be in the room..
That was in 2021 when we met …Just as we were coming out of lockdown and I had been feeling unusually anxious as it was my first time out remember that feeling ?! Yup quite weird and yesterday we met again!
And yesterday when we met again and thankfully, I was in a much better place; -still a work in progress at the same time; and I am cool with that!! 😅…Love you Lisa Newport you are a force of nature, and genuinely inspiring and amazing to be around I salute you!”
I had several other similar compliments that said similar things too that day, but, like I said earlier, they don’t stick because I *don’t know* these things to be true deep inside.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
If there’s one comment, I wish I had a £ for every time I’d heard it, it’s this “I thought you were a bit scary when I first met you” or words to that effect. Being confident and comfortable in your own skin (despite taking a lot of work to get to that place) often intimidates people, who may like Carrie, deep down admit to feeling jealous.
Other, less self-aware people I’ve come across in my life, have not admitted to being jealous and let their own insecurities make up a story about me. Some people will just not like me and that’s ok. (I don’t like everyone so fairs fair.)
What people don’t see is the crap I’ve gone through in my life that has made me who (and how) I am. Here’s a list off the top of my head of some of the various stresses, traumas and challenges I’ve dealt with to become the strong, confident woman who unintentionally intimidates folk.
Multiple surgeries since 18 months of age
Several failed surgical interventions
Being bullied in childhood and adulthood
Low self-esteem and self-worth
Depression, anxiety, counselling, therapy
£25k+ debt & financial worries
2 serious road traffic accidents
Sudden death of dad
Mum’s terminal brain tumour
Don't cry or you'll get something to cry about
Growing up there was always a stoic, ‘keep your head down and get on with it’ kind of attitude instilled into us as kids. You don’t moan about your lot because there’s always someone worse off. The flip side was that you don’t show off about stuff either, achievements were downplayed. You were expected to work hard and do your best and that was supposedly good enough. However, I do always remember being worried about telling my dad I’d *only* got 98% in my maths test and Derek Walker had got 99%. That was primary school. I’m sure my dad was proud, but I don’t recall him telling me that. I just remember feeling not quite good enough because DW had beat me in the test.
My mum didn’t do emotion. I only remember seeing her cry once and that was when one of the dogs died. She used to say ‘don’t cry or I’ll give you something to cry for!’ and then as we got older it was ‘don’t cry it makes you look ugly’, because she wasn't comfortable with emotion we weren't allowed to be either. All of these things shape you as a person.
Banish limiting beliefs that keep you playing small
So here I am being comfortable (ish) with being uncomfortable and admitting that although I’m comfortable and confident in my own skin, I’m definitely still work in progress in terms of my self-belief and owning my power. These days my coach often highlights things to me that are a big deal, things I’ve just taken in my stride or shrugged off. It could be something emotional or an achievement that I’m not acknowledging. And while I’m great at seeing/acknowledging/celebrating progress and achievements in others I’m brushing things aside for myself. I’m not standing in or owning my power despite how it might look on the outside. I thought I’d got the compliment thing sussed but clearly I haven’t.
The beautiful words from those kind, generous people need to land with me. I need to take a step back and see myself how Carrie and the others see me (without being intimidated though). I need to not only accept the compliments graciously, but I need to *believe*. Until I take this next step I’m playing small, I’m not owning my power and magic, therefore I am limiting the amount of women I can help. And as my coach, Taz says ‘While you’re so busy doubting yourself others are in awe of your potential.’
Where do you stand with your inner confidence and self-belief? I hope my sharing in this way has helped you feel a bit braver to be comfortable being uncomfortable. I’m going to sign off with a quote from Glinda the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz – ‘You are capable of more than you know.’
Audio version read by me available here
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